Tonight the team weren’t expecting the Pegasus Inquisition and then Michael finally leaves the show.
Woolsey is briefing the team about the emergence of a loose Coalition of various worlds in the Pegasus galaxy who have started to come together in the hopes of sharing resources and governance despite their somewhat backward technological level. The team are sent to meet with a representative on another world only to put in a room and knockout gas vented in.
Waking up elsewhere the team find themselves on trial before a Coalition tribunal for the actions of the Expedition in crimes against Pegasus for the deaths of over 2 million people as a result of waking up the Wraith, creating Michael, and then unleashing the Asuran Replicators. Sheppard tries his best to argue against the many accusations but his debating skills aren’t up to scratch, unintentionally insulting them as much as defending the Expedition.
Atlantis soon receives a rep from the Coalition who informs them of the status of the team. Woolsey, in no mood for the secret trial of his people, has the rep jailed until he “comes to his senses”. When the Expedition’s dwindling contacts however can’t provide a location Woolsey instead has the rep bring him to the location of the trials to join the team and give them a fighting chance.
After taking control of the defence Woolsey at first attempts to fight them on a fair legal basis using his vast experience with legal matters but soon realises he’s fighting a tribunal where at least one of them will never be an impartial judge due to their personal losses at the hands of the Replicators. Woolsey however recognises that one of the two others is from a world backed by the Genii and deduces the whole Inquisition is a play by the Genii to place themselves as the military force of the Coalition. Woolsey, betting one of the two remaining tribunes is playing fair, decides to go to the one bankrolled by the Genii to suggest that the Expedition are much more suitable as the main military force than the Genii. At the final ruling Woolsey’s bet comes true for them when 2 of the 3 vote to clear all charges.
Back on Atlantis Woolsey and Sheppard celebrate a successful mission though do wonder how their larger role in Pegasus will be greeted by the IOA.
Boy we haven’t had a clipshow episode in a long while now though as usual it’s a rather enjoyable one for Stargate.
There’s obviously not a lot to talk about given that nature but the episode does do two things of note. The first is that the episode does some major worldbuilding with the introduction of the Coalition, the first inter-planetary organised human group we’ve seen in the Pegasus galaxy, and how already it’s got all the power plays and plots that such an organisation causes. The main one here of course is that issue of the Genii pushing to have the Expedition turned into a pariah state and thereby side-lined from interfering with its own goals. It’s funny how in much the same way a clipshow on SG-1 introduced Senator Kinsey. Here however we never sadly got the chance to see how this Space UN would evolve in a post-Wraith environment due to the abrupt cancelation of the show.
The second point is the continued development of Woolsey, which in this episode sees him cross the line once again because he realises the rules don’t always work. In this case it’s his belief in fair trials that gets tested when he finds that he’s trying to legitimise a kangaroo court, only successfully saving the team when he lowers himself to his level. He’s come far as a character over the years as he very easily switches over to this way of thinking compared to previous time when he’s agonised for days. He’s come a long way but sadly there isn’t much time left.
Overall for a clipshow it continues to have a little more to say than just referencing the past.
· Remember when the Genii used to appear? That was a long time ago it feels like.
Quote of the episode: “Well what’s next on the agenda, did we step on the rose bushes on our last trip to Vidina?” – Sheppard
We start with Woolsey bringing Ronon in for meeting in his office to discuss why the Satedan hasn’t submitted any mission reports since the introduction of the policy at an earlier meeting before handing him a Dictaphone he can use to do it in the future. Elsewhere in one of the hallways Sheppard and Meredith are racing RC cars while almost causing a hit and run on Teyla and her son. As they pack up for the night however the lights turn out and they get no word from the Control tower which still has lights. Inside the central tower however Teyla is suddenly stunned by unknown men.
Lower down in the tower Sheppard and Meredith meet with other Expedition personnel and begin to try and work out what’s going on, with Zelenka finding that the city’s Naquadah generators aren’t working. Forced to take the stairs the two FART members make it to control room area only to find the access doors are still sealed shut. Zelenka manages to get limited power however to the lab which the two manage to use to access the CCTV to find that the control area has been taken over by none other than Michael who’d used a modified Jumper (stolen when FART boarded his cruiser) to stun everyone in the control area which included Woolsey and Ronon and quickly take control of the facility with a group of hybrids.
Teyla awakens with her son in the commander’s office to be greeted by Michael who it turns out is there for her child once again while also destroying Atlantis as revenge on the Expedition. Though Michael attempts to get sympathy from Teyla she refuses to see his way of the world leading him to become enraged once more. Elsewhere in the control area Ronon and one of the control techs, Amelia, wake up in a room with the rest of the unconscious control staff and attempt to break out the room, both of them beating up one of the hybrids waiting on the other side when it finally opens.
Now knowing about Michael, Sheppard and Lorne lead teams up separate entry ways only to find that some kind of stun field is still in place, knocking out anyone who passes through it, when Lorne accidentally walks into it. With that plan scrubbed Sheppard has Meredith start to fix one of the broken Jumpers in the formerly flooded underwater Jumper bay so that he can use it to attack the control area with drones.
Back in the control area Ronon leads Woolsey and two others back towards the control room to find Michael discussing the self-destruct plan. While Ronon takes the two others to try and disarm the self-destruct in an assault on the control room which fails when Ronon takes a tumble over the balcony Woolsey hangs back. When Teyla makes a break for it with her son Woolsey attempts to lead them to safety only to be knocked unconscious by the stun field and falls down the stairs. Trapped alone in the control area Teyla hides inside a storage compartment to avoid the hybrids. Unable to find her Michael attempts to get her to give up by activating the self-destruct. When Teyla refuses to leave without the shutdown of the self-destruct Michael decides to leave anyway.
Back in the Jumper bay Meredith isn’t able to get the weapons working, leaving Sheppard with a barely flight-worthy Jumper. Thankfully Zelenka has slightly more luck regaining access to locked out systems and is able to lower the Gate shield. Abandoning the Jumper plan they instead have Meredith simply use it to dial the Gate at the right moment and destroy the Jumper in the Gateroom, allowing Sheppard and security teams to storm the control area. While Michael’s hybrids are easily dealt with Michael himself runs off with Sheppard in pursuit. The pair end up fighting outside on the edge of the Jumper area at the top of the tower with Michael kicking Sheppard’s arse until Teyla suddenly shows up and pushes Michael to his death.
In the aftermath Woolsey visits Ronon who’s recovering in the infirmary. It turns out that Ronon’s recorded a rather short report on the Dictaphone to Woolsey’s amusement. Down in the bowels of the city Sheppard and Meredith are racing their cars once again only to almost run down Teyla and her child again.
And here we are with the final part of the Michael storyline and… god what a waste of a character Michael was.
The story of the episode starts so well in portraying the invasion of the city at the same time as the main characters learn about it, with the audience unaware of the villain for almost a quarter of the episode, in a way that reminds me of SG-1s Foothold. Then it turns into Michael’s last vengeance against the team to get the genetic samples he needs to complete his work on perfecting the hybrids while decapitating the Expedition at the same time via the self-destruct. It’s a great part of the episode that sees what was a great aspect of the villain of Michael as he’s shown to be a clever and methodical threat to the base. And then it all goes downhill.
The worst part about Michael’s character has always been this obsession with Teyla and here it goes to 11 as he repeatedly risks everything of his plan to get Teyla to come with him. It’s not very fun to watch as it comes across as just quite sad to be honest for this character who’s meant to be a real risk to the team instead just begging and whining in front of this woman because he really wants her to love him. The only aspect of this that becomes likable is when she’s the one who kills him finally which she should’ve done seasons ago now. Goodbye Michael, we won’t miss you.
Elsewhere Woolsey continues his continued rise to the heart of the show as we see him take some of his most selfless actions yet. Woolsey has always been a violence adverse administrator but here he willingly puts himself in harm’s way to keep Teyla and her son out of the line of fire. It doesn’t go well for him but it’s a side to him we haven’t seen so far and it really works in his favour. A lot of Woolsey’s character arc this season has seen him sacrifice his views and nature to become one of the Atlantis family and this is probably one of his greatest leaps towards that destination yet.
So that’s The Prodigal, an episode that shows what Michael could’ve been while also sadly what he actually became.
· Ronon really is just a less hairy Chewie at this point.
· Will Meredith and Zelenka ever get along?
· Michael really is an emotionally manipulative ex.
Quote of the episode: “Mission report: Michael invaded Atlantis, tried to blow it up, we stopped him. End of report.” – Ronon